Ivy Leaguer Has His Eyes On Big Leagues





CLEVELAND—When the Indians embarked on another rebuilding project last season and began selling off their major league team piece by piece, the bulk of the bounty in return was young pitching.

Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone from the Red Sox for all-star catcher Victor Martinez. Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp from the Phillies for 2008 Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Scott Barnes from the Giants for first baseman Ryan Garko. Connor Graham from the Rockies for reliever Rafael Betancourt. Chris Perez and Jess Todd from the Cardinals for infielder Mark DeRosa.

It's a long list, as the Indians stockpiled young arms hoping a few might prove worthy of the trade. But one pitcher whose name stands out this season was in the organization all along: righthander Frank Herrmann.

The 26-year-old starter turned reliever was 2-0, 0.37 in 16 appearances spanning 24 innings at Triple-A Columbus. He had registered two saves to go along with 17 strikeouts and just seven walks. Herrmann had yielded just one run this season, and that came on his first appearance on April 8, and opponents were hitting .181 against him.

"Frank has been outstanding this year and absolutely devastating against righthanded batters," farm director Ross Atkins said.

Herrmann has always fought for recognition in the organization since signing in 2005 as a nondrafted free agent out of Harvard. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound former quarterback went on to earn an economics degree within a year of leaving college. Entering the 2010 season, Herrmann was 30-23, 3.81 in four minor league seasons. He spent his first three years as a starter, before the Tribe converted Hermann to a reliever last season at Columbus.

"It's always tough to say when a player is major league ready, but Frank has certainly demonstrated the ability to get Triple-A hitters out at a good clip," Atkins said.

SMOKE SIGNALS

• Righthander Hector Rondon was sidelined with right forearm tightness. Before going on the disabled list, the 22-year-old was struggling in his second stint with Columbus. In seven starts, Rondon was 1-3, 8.53 and had given up 12 home runs in 32 innings.  

• The Indians did some major housecleaning among its minor league pitchers, moving high Class A lefthander Kelvin de la Cruz to Double-A Akron, sending righthander Carlton Smith from Columbus to Akron, trading righthander Neil Wagner to the Athletics for a player to be named and releasing Double-A lefthander Ryan Edell and righthander Erik Stiller.